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Safety Harbor, FL  34695-2067
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How to Make an Abuse Complaint

Outreach to Victims of Clergy Sexual Abuse

The Diocese of St. Petersburg remains committed to the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People adopted by the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops. All employees, persons serving in ministry, and contractor/vendors who are entrusted with the care, responsibility, or supervision of children, youth, and, or vulnerable adults are required to comply with fingerprint policy for background screening.

Further, the Diocese has established safe environment training programs for employees, volunteers and contractor/vendors serving in or servicing the parish and school communities.

IMPORTANT:

Anyone who has been harmed by someone serving in ministry or knows or has reasonable suspicion that a child is being abused MUST REPORT the abuse to law enforcement or the Florida Department of Children and Families Abuse Hotline at 800.962.2873. After the report has been made to the authorities a report may be made to the diocesan Victim Assistance Minister at 866.407.4505 where pastoral care and counseling is available.

HOW TO MAKE AN ABUSE COMPLAINT

If the abuse is recent, first call law enforcement or the Florida Department of Children and Families Abuse Hotline at 800.962.2873

To report sexual abuse in the past from Church Personnel (clergy, a church employee or volunteer) or a contractor/vendor or if you are in need of assistance with a current incident, Call the Victim Assistance Minister, Marti Zeitz. She can be reached by phone at 866.407.4505 or by e-mail at MZeitz@ccdosp.org.

OR

You can write to:

Bishop Gregory L. Parkes
P.O. Box 40200
St. Petersburg, FL 33743

(Mark "CONFIDENTIAL-- FOR THE BISHOP ONLY" on the envelope)

HOW WE CAN HELP

If you are unsure about bringing a complaint or would like further information, please contact Marti Zeitz at 866.407.4505.

If the abuse occurred outside the Diocese of St. Petersburg and you now reside with the Diocese, the Office of Victim Assistance will help you bring your concerns to church officials where the abuse occurred.

We will help you obtain support by providing:

  • Assistance and accompaniment through the reporting process
  • Information about counseling and or individual therapy
  • Information to help you heal spiritually through a spiritual companion or a healing groupWe are open to and respect your complaint. It is in a spirit of justice and compassion that we respond to your allegation. We wish to help you have a voice. We want to help you heal.

We recognize that bringing a sexual misconduct complaint to the Diocese can be a frightening consideration. That is why we have contracted with Catholic Charities, Inc. to provide Victim Assistance. We want to make this process as safe as possible and will proceed at the pace that you set, respecting your need for healing. The Victim Assistance Minister will accompany you through any or all of the stages of the process according to your wishes.

We are sorry for the pain you have experienced.

Office of Victim Assistance

Level 2 Background Screening

Fingerprinting Requirement for Level 2 Background Check

  • Employees and Covered Volunteers   All employees regardless of age must be Level 2 (FDLE/FBI) background screened using electronic fingerprinting through diocesan resources.  Go to dospsep.org to register. 
  • All covered volunteers (Those persons who may have the care responsibility, and or supervision of children, youth or vulnerable adults) must be screened using the same process. Go todospsep.orgThe diocese will bill the respective employee's or volunteer's parish or school for the cost.
  • Contractors and Vendors  All contractors and vendors who may have care responsibility, and or supervision of children must now be screened. For registration and procedures please visit : dospsep.org

 

Background Screening Procedures

The Diocese places two rings of protection around its children, youth, and vulnerable adults - a criminal history background check and safe environment program training(It is important to note that covered volunteers must complete a Covered Volunteer Application BEFORE they go online to register to be fingerprinted.  This application form can be obtained from the parish or school office or on this webpage (see right-hand column).  Once completed and accepted by the parish or school, the Volunteer Application Form becomes the authorization document to be fingerprinted and acceptance of the initial cost of the fingerprinting session by the covered volunteer's parish or school.

The first line of defense, then, is a Level 2 Criminal History Background Check  of anyone who wishes unsupervised access to children, youth or vulnerable adults.  A Level 2 Background Check is a check of an individual's background predicated upon an electronically taken and transmitted set of digital fingerprints matched against prints contained in the FBI's National Criminal Information Center (NCIC) database and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement's (FDLE) Volunteer and Employee Criminal History System (VECHS) database. 

A Level 2 criminal history background check gives the diocese access to all arrest records to include: expunged records, sealed records, missing persons records, sexual predator listings, outstanding warrants in all 3,200 counties of the United States and the five U.S. Territories, as well as access to the Interpol criminal records database internationally.  Click here to register to be fingerprinted online once permission from the parish or school has been obtained.

The second line of defense is
Safe Environment Program (SEP) Training.  Both SEP Training and the Level 2 Criminal History Background Check are required before an individual can have the care, responsibility, and or supervision of children and youth or access to vulnerable adults.  The order in which these two requirements is not important, i.e. the training can come first or the fingerprinting session can come first. 

It is important to note that the following classes of adults must have their backgrounds checked for criminal history:

1.  All Employees regardless of age
2.  Adult Covered Volunteers who wish or may have unsupervised access to children, youth, or vulnerable adults (A Covered Volunteer is one who may have unsupervised access to children, youth, and or vulnerable adults).
3.  Vendors and Contractors who wish or may have unsupervised access to children, youth, or vulnerable adults.  (A vulnerable adult is a person 18 years or older whose ability to perform the normal activities of daily living or to provide for his or her own care or protection is impaired due to a mental, emotional, physical, developmental disability dysfunction, brain damage, or the infirmities of aging.  This requirement then applies to those who provide pastoral care in the homes of vulnerable adults and to those Eucharistic Ministers who take Communion to the Sick and Shut-in (Eucharistic Ministers to the Homebound).

Not all volunteers need to be screened for criminal history.  Non-covered volunteers include those individuals with such job titles as Eucharistic Ministers at Mass (not Eucharistic Ministers to the Sick and Shut-In), Lectors, Cantors, money counters, parish council members, etc. who do not have unsupervised access to children, youth, or vulnerable adults do not have to be screened.  However, the pastor does have the authority to screen anyone who he thinks could possibly have unsupervised access to children, youth and or vulnerable adults.

Non-employees under the age of 18 and post high school do not need to be screened for criminal history or Safe Environment Program trained.  Why?  It is because these non-employees under the age of 18 and post high school are not allowed to have unsupervised access to children, youth, or vulnerable adults.  This includes youth ministers, coaches, mentors, scout leaders, babysitters, etc.  These individuals who may assist with children, youth or vulnerable adults must be supervised by a volunteer or employee who has completed a Safe Environment Program Workshop and has successfully completed a Level 2 Background Check.

In an effort to protect our children, youth, and vulnerable adults from abuse and neglect, the Bishop has instituted the Diocese of St. Petersburg Policy for the Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults as revised.  This policy applies to Church Personnel who may have the care, responsibility, and or supervision of children or unsupervised access to vulnerable adults.  Church Personnel is defined as clergy (priest, deacon, or religious), employee (any lay person who is employed by or engaged in ministry who is given payment for services in any form), covered volunteer (any unpaid person who is engaged or involved in any diocesan institution or parish activity ) or contractor/vendor (This class of person shall be understood for purposes of the policy and in accordance with the VECHS User Agreement to include contractors and vendors who have or may have unsupervised access to children, disabled, or elderly persons for whom the diocese provides care, responsibility, and or supervision).

These Church Personnel must successfully complete a Level 2 Criminal History Background Check.  The Diocese of St. Petersburg Policy for the Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults (as amended) instituted the Minimum Standards of Moral Conduct as promulgated by the Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops.  Church Personnel who wish to serve in any position of service must meet these Minimum Standards of Moral Conduct, which are now a prerequisite to service in the Church.  Any individual found guilty of one of the 47 crimes contained in the Diocese's Minimum Standard of Moral Conduct cannot be employed by the Diocese or allowed to volunteer in any capacity.  However, the Diocese has instituted an appeal process, which is available through the Office of the Tribunal.

The Diocese of St. Petersburg Safe Environment Program Office is responsible for performing all Level 2 Criminal History Background Checks.  Level 2 Criminal History Background Checks are based an electronic fingerprint search that is processed through the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE)/FBI Volunteer, Employee Criminal History System (VECHS)  fingerprint database.

The Diocese of St. Petersburg does not accept background screening reports from any federal agency, state agency, or private information vendor regardless of the screening organization and regardless of the position that an individual currently holds or may have held in the past - NO EXCEPTIONS.  Fingerprints contained in the FBI database can be used only for the purpose intended and are federal-statute specific.  This means that the sharing of criminal history reports between entities is not allowed.

In order to begin the background screening process, Church Personnel who wish access to children youth, and or vulnerable adults must first obtain and complete a Covered Volunteer Application Form. This form can be obtained form the parish, school, or early childhood center where they wish to work or volunteer.  Secondly, individuals must register online at the following secure website:
dospsep.org, select a time, date, and location to be printed and then keep the appointment. 

Results of criminal history background checks are provided to the pastor of each diocesan entity.  (Note: Every organization within the diocese has a juridic person in charge who is normally the pastor-even for schools and early childhood centers)

A Level 2 Criminal History Background Check costs $51 per session.  This fee covers the costs charged by the Volunteer, Employee Criminal History System (VECHS), the state-wide check by Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE), the national check by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the processing fees charged by the vendor to cover the cost of equipment, processing, and administrative costs.  Who pays for the cost of keeping the children and vulnerable adults of the diocese safe? Initially the volunteer will pay when registering and the parish will re-imburse you. Please turn in receipt to your ministry coordinator.

Employee costs are covered by the respective employer.  New hire job applicants may or may not pay for these costs depending on the policy of the hiring entity.  For volunteers in the parishes, it depends on the policies of the individual parish.  Some parishes cover the cost of screening their covered volunteers while others charge the volunteer.  A covered volunteer is an individual who may have the care, responsibility, and or supervision of a child, youth, or vulnerable adult regardless of the frequency of the unsupervised contact with children, youth, or vulnerable adults.

For volunteers in the Catholic School system, some schools include the background screening cost in the tuition charged while others charge the volunteers as an additional cost of education like book fees, uniform fees, etc.  Again, it depends on the policy of the individual school concerned.  For vendors and contractors, the cost of fingerprinting is paid for by the employer of the vendor or contractor at the point of service.

Please direct all questions regarding fingerprinting to the Safe Environment Program Manager of the Diocese of St. Petersburg Safe Environment Office at 727.344.1611
 

ELECTRONIC FINGERPRINT/BACKGROUND
SCREENING PROCESS
 
The Diocese of St. Petersburg has implemented a state of the art electronic fingerprint/background system which will better serve the needs of our diocesan community by allowing the school/parish to directly receive screening results via a secure site. 
 
To facilitate this process, On-Line Registration and a scheduled appointment will be required. (we are unable to accommodate walk-ins without appointments). 
 
Following is an outline of the new process:
  1. Registration must be made on-line at: www.dospsep.org
  2. Step by step instructions are provided - stpetersburg.cmgconnect.org It is important to select the correct parish/school where you volunteer or are employed. 
  3. You will be prompted to schedule an appointment at one of the fingerprinting centers – you will receive an e-mail confirmation. 
  4. Upon completion of all required fields, you will be provided with a “code” - you must have this code number with you at the time of your appointment along with the Government issued Identification card you entered under “Type of Identification”.
  5. Please make every effort to attend your appointment - contact your appointment center if you need to reschedule.
  6. Results will be forwarded to the designated secure site you indicated on your registration and to the Fingerprinting Department at the Diocese of St. Petersburg.

Funeral Worksheet

 

Name of Deceased                                                                       
Date of Birth  

Age

 
Who will place the Pall on casket or cremains?  
Who will carry the cremains in procession?  
Bread and wine presented at the Offertory by  
Select readings (from Scripture pages on web site)  

Family/friend to read or a church lector  
Select music and responsorial psalm (from Songs pages on web site)  

Career: employment, military service, etc.  


Hobbies...interests:  

Church Volunteer or other volunteer work  


Share life moments of the deceased  




Name to use when referring to the deceased during the liturgy  
Will anyone say words of remembrance at the end of Mass  
Name of Spouse  
Years Married  
Family Names: (indicate L for living or D for deceased after each name)  


Approximate attendance  
Knights of Columbus Color Corp?  
Military Honors Presentation at fountain following service?  
Special Needs: ex. Display table, floor easel, etc.  

Funeral Planning

Blessed are they who mourn, for they shall be comforted...

chwebfun

The Funeral Liaison Ministry of Espiritu Santo Parish has been developed with the hope of assisting our brothers and sisters who have lost a loved one. As a parish family, our mission is to journey with the bereaved family at this most vulnerable time of their life. Pre-planning a funeral is a prayerful and profound experience that gives the planner insight into the beauty and hope of the journey of life and the celebration of what is most meaningful.

On this web page you will find:

Scriptures - Old Testament, New Testament, and Gospels

Songs - Music Selections, Responsorial Psalms

Rituals - Procession

These are approved as appropriate for Catholic funerals. You are invited to give some time to reflecting on some of these and selecting those that best express your experience of the life you have lived and loved on this earth and the God who will call you home to fullness of life with him at the end of your journey here.

You will also find a planning sheet to familiarize you with the information needed to complete the pre-planning.

If you have questions as you work through the materials, please call Jeff Fitzcharles at 727.726.8477

When you are ready, please contact the Church Office to set up an appointment for planning or to request a funeral date and time for your loved one's.

 

Old Testament Readings

The approved Old Testament readings for funerals in the Diocese of St. Petersburg are:

Job 19:1, 23-27

Wisdom 3:1-9

Wisdom 3:1-6, 9

Wisdom 4:7-15

Isaiah 25:6a, 7-9

Lamentations 3:17-26

Daniel 12:1-3

2 Maccabees 12:43-46

Music Selections

The sacred and communal nature of our Catholic Funeral Celebration requires careful planning in the selection of music. This planning will insure the ability of all those gathered to actively participate in the celebration. Because of the sacredness of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, secular instrumental or vocal music, or the use of recorded music of any kind may not be used.

Gathering Offertory Communion Sending Song Selection
  X X X Age to Age
X X   X All Creatures of Our God and King
X X   X Amazing Grace
  X     Ave Maria
X X X X Be Not Afraid
X X   X Be Still My Soul
    X   Behold the Lamb
  X X X Blest are They
    X   Bread for the World
    X   Bread of Life Farrell
    X   Bread of Life Fischer
    X   Bread, Blest and Broken
  X X   Center of My Life
  X X   Change Our Hearts
X X X X Christ Be Our Light
X X   X City of God
X X X   Come to Me
X X X   Come to the River
    X   Eat This Bread
  X X   Eye Has Not Seen
X     X For All the Saints
    X   Gift of Finest Wheat
  X     Hail Mary, Gentle Woman
X X     Healing River of the Spirit
X X X   Here at This Table
X X X   Here I Am, Lord
X X     Hosea
  X     How Can I Keep From Singing
  X   X How Great Thou Art
  X X   How Lovely is Your Dwelling Place
X   X   I Am the Bread of Lofe
X X X   I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say
      X I Know That My Redeemer Lives
    X X I Received the Living God
  X X   In Every Age
  X X   In the Land There is a Hunger
X X X   In This Place
X X   X Jerusalem, My Happy Home
      X Jesus, Remember Me
  X X   Keep in Mind
      X Lead Me, Lord
      X Let There be Peace on Earth
 X  X  X  X  Like a Shepherd
   X      Lord of all Hopefulness
   X  X    Lord You Have Come/Pescador de Hombres
 X  X    X  Morning has Broken
   X  X    Now We Remain
   X      O Breathe on Me, O Breath of God
   X      O God, You Search Me
   X    X  O Loving God (may be used as Song of Farewell)
 X  X  X  X  On Eagle's Wings
     X    One Bread, One Body
   X  X    One Lord
     X    One Love Released
   X X    Only This I Want
    X    Pan de Vida
     X    Panis Angelicus
   X    X   Parable (For Everything there is a Season)
   X    X   Prayer of St. Francis
   X  X    Precious Lord, Take My Hand
   X    X  Roll Away the Stone
   X      Seek Ye First
 X  X    X  Shall We Gather at the River
   X  X    Shelter Me, O God
   X  X    Shepherd Me, O God
 X  X    X  Sing With All the Saints in Glory
   X  X    Softly and Tenderly Jesus is Calling
       X  Song of Farewell Old Hundreth
       X  Song of Farewell Sands
   X    X  Soon and Very Soon
   X  X    Stand by Me
     X    Taste and See
 X  X      The King of Love My Shepherd Is
     X    The Supper of the Lord
   X      There is a Balm in Gilead
   X  X    There is a Longing
   X  X    This Alone
     X    This Bread That We Share
 X  X      This Day God Gives Me
     X    To Be Your Bread
   X  X    Turn to Me
   X  X    Unless a Grain of Wheat
   X  X    We Have Been Told
   X  X    We Remember
 X  X    X  We Walk by Faith
   X  X  X  We Will Rise Again
   X  X    Whatsoever You Do
 X  X  X  X  Where My Father Lives, There is Room for All
 X  X  X  X  You are Mine
   X  X    You are Near

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